Picnic and Play 2022

By Alex Sanderson (Project Manager)

We have had the BEST summer at The Chapel this year. It has been so lovely to be back with Picnic and Play, enjoying the activities and meeting friends old and new. Thank you to everyone who helped, donated and supported, and all who joined in and made it such fun! It was a wonderful community effort, with volunteers from local churches and the wider community coming together to make it a lovely summer for all.

The theme for August 2022 was The Seaside and we had our own “beach” with 850kg of sand to play in, and paddling pool to keep cool in the heatwave. Thank you to everyone who helped with that – it was a huge effort to prepare the garden and shift all that sand, we so appreciate your help!

We had wonderful help from the New Way Christian Life Fellowship team to clear the garden, and more volunteers sorting out the safety gates, moving furniture and doing tip runs just to name a few! One volunteer did a sweep of the whole area and pulled up every nettle and bramble to make us toddler safe. What a hero!

The Art and Craft activities were lovely, thanks to our Artists in Residence Debi and Jono, and Revd Gina and her team from the local Methodist Circuit. There was everything from tie dye to paper chain octopus and from potato printing to portraits. ChapelKids have been working on grow your own food projects in the Summer term, and shared some of their gardening skills, with cress planting, bean sprout jars and pea shoots. (Have a look at the beans growing in the garden now – they are ready to pick!). Everyone enjoyed the disco too, especially the games that involved winning sweets – thank you DJ Martin!

Our feedback forms were of course full of…. the pancakes! As ever the most popular bit of the picnic every summer. Thank you Revd Neil and Charlie for these, they were delicious. A huge thank you also goes to Barbara and Kat who made the sandwiches and Julie, Elaine and others who helped stuff all the picnic bags. George and Heather were wonderful too, providing a warm welcome and a hot cuppa (or a cold lemonade on the hottest days!)

The community feel was so lovely, with families arriving early to help set up and staying late to help tidy up and clean. The generosity of donations was super too, with lots of items donated for the play area and a fantastic summer swap shop. It’s one of those times when the phrase “it takes a village” rings true, in fact a lot of us would count one another as family. If you are in the area next summer, some and see what it’s all about!

We must give a special mention to our generous donors, including the Co-Op whose community funding is helping to cover some of the costs to make it happen. We do receive some donations from those participants who are able to give towards the costs, which is important to keep us open, but having this support from the community fund and other generous donors means we never have to turn anyone away who can’t donate. Thank you Co-Op! (Do keep swiping your co-op membership cards in the shop everyone please for the community fund points!)

As we look to the Autumn term, there is lots planned for you to come and enjoy at The Chapel. On Wednesdays, ChapelKids is starting up again for the Autumn term. 11am-14:00 including a new Parenting Pod and Lunch Club as well as the usual Baby and Toddler Group. For more details phone or text us on 07730 609446 (or whatsApp or imessage)

If you would like to donate for the work of The Chapel we welcome donations all year round. Thank you for your support! https://givealittle.co/campaigns/8d80cd98-df9f-494e-9808-b8898744146f